In a positive sign for President Barack Obama, the unemployment rate surprisingly dropped to 8.6 percent in November – the lowest in two-and-a-half years – as the country’s long-stalled economy flashed new signs of strength amid uneasiness about a broader global downturn.
The big dip in unemployment from 9 percent in October occurred even though the Labor Department reported Friday that just 120,000 jobs were added in November, a figure roughly in line with expectations.
Unemployment now stands at its lowest level since March 2009 – a clear political plus for Obama but something of a mixed bag considering 13.3 million Americans are still jobless and the sovereign debt crisis unfolding in Europe could tip the world into a recession.
Yes, clearly there are still a lot of problems. And why is that? Well, first of all, President Obama and the Democrats inherited a hell of bad situation from Bush/Cheney/etc. in January 2009. Remember, at that time, the economy was in free fall, unemployment was surging, the budget deficit was projected at about $1 trillion (BEFORE the “stimulus,” let’s note for the record), the auto industry was in danger of collapsing, etc. Since, then, Democrats have managed to at least stop the hemorrhaging, and even to get things going in the right direction. No thanks whatsoever – don’t believe me, review the record on this – to Republican’ts. That’s just a fact.
Now, just imagine if a few things had happened that didn’t happen: 1) the Teapublicans had not blocked investment in U.S. infrastructure, as well as further measures to boost the economy; 2) the Teapublicans had not held the entire economy hostage this past summer over a normally routine debt ceiling increase; 3) the Teapublicans had not insisted on counterproductive austerity in the short term, including cuts in federal/state government employment, instead of the obvious move, which would have been Keynesian fiscal stimulus while the economy recovers, combined with long-term debt reduction; 4) the Teapublicans had not blocked efforts to sharply bring down long-term U.S. deficits; and 5) the Teapublicans had not continuously “talked down” the U.S. economy and placed destroying Obama’s reelection chances over the lives of the American people since January 2009? Of course, all of those things would have required the Teapublicans to put their own political calculations second to the needs of our country, and that’s clearly something they were NOT willing to do. I just hope the American people see this, and vote accordingly, next November!